Barcelona consider replacing Dani Alves with Hector Bellerin

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Barcelona have identified two potential Premier League-based replacements for Dani Alves: Liverpool loanee Javier Manquillo, and Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin.

This is according to Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo - and brought to our attention by the Mirror - who understand Barcelona have shortlisted four other potential replacements for the Brazil international.

Alves is expected to walk away from the Camp Nou as a free agent at the end of the season, with Barcelona reluctant to offer for the 31-year-old a new contract, despite the fact they are prohibited from registering new players until January 2016 due to a transfer ban imposed by FIFA.

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Manquillo an option for Barcelona

Barcelona have doubts over current back-up right-back Martin Montoya, while summer signing Douglas has looked out of his depth surrounded by the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta.

The Catalan giants have first option on Manquillo, who is currently on a two-year loan at Anfield, following the deal which took David Villa to Atletico Madrid in 2013. The 20-year-old could be available for as little as £4.4 million depending on whether Atleti qualify for the Champions League.

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Bellerin might be more attractive

But Barcelona may consider Bellerin, 20, to be a more attractive signing due to the fact he grew up in the club’s famed La Masia academy.

The Spain Under-21 international joined Barca at the age of eight, in 2003, before making the tough decision to join Arsenal in 2011 - following the same route as former Gunners’ star Cesc Fabregas - in order to improve his chances of playing regular first-team football.

It has proved to be a very smart decision from the Spaniard, who has flourished for Arsenal this season in the absence of the injured Mathieu Debuchy.

Bellerin, who spent part of last season on loan with Championship outfit Watford, has made 19 appearances for the Gunners this term, scoring one goal in the process.

Contract delay due to Barcelona interest?

It was widely reported last month that Bellerin will sign a contract extension with the north London outfit following his impressive recent performances - a decision that will allow Carl Jenkinson to complete a permanent transfer to West Ham.

Jenkinson has performed well this season on loan at Upton Park, and for England’s Under-21 side, but Wenger clearly feels Bellerin is the more talented of the two full-backs.

The opportunity to return to Barcelona, though, may prove too tempting for the Spaniard to resist.

Bellerin was born in Barcelona and no doubt feels a strong connection to the club, just as Fabregas did.

This might be the reason why he has delayed putting pen-to-paper on that new contract with the Gunners.

Arsenal fans: should Hector Bellerin be Arsenal’s first-choice right-back when Debuchy returns? Have your say in the comments below!

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